Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolution: A Clean and Organized Garage

The Bulldog Hardware 131588 Peg-A-System Ultimate Kit
  • 8 square feet of peg board (4 panels), 43 peg accessories
  • Quick and easy installation with all hardware included
  • Built-in spacers on panel back eliminate need for additional spacers
  • Durable plastic construction designed to last
  • Easy slide together connections
The Bulldog Hardware Peg-A-System offers a smarter way to organize your tools. Make use of the vertical space in your garage or workshop with durable, easy-to-install pegboard. This attractive plastic pegboard system boasts features not found in traditional perforated particle boards, and it offers tool-specific pegs and handy bins to keep your workspace free of clutter. Plastic Pegboard is Built to Last Peg-A-System's heavy-duty black plastic pegboard will create a high-quality tool board that is just as good looking as it is functional. Unlike traditional particle board, Peg-A-System's pegboard is made to last--it won't chip or warp. Designed to Expand with Your Needs Convenient connector strips between each panel allow you to slide together multiple panels for a secure fit and a smooth appearance. Best of all, it's easy to add more panels as your tool collection expands. Easy, One-Person Installation Built-in spacers on the back of each Peg-A-System panel make furring strips unnecessary, so you can hang your pegboards with ease. Each Peg-A-System kit includes all the installation materials you need to securely mount your pegboard on drywall or studs. In fact, a Peg-A-System is so simple to install, one person can easily handle the job alone. Tool-Specific Pegs and Containers Make the most of the vertical storage space in your workshop or garage by taking advantage of the Peg-A-System's complete tool storage options. Featuring an array of both general peg hooks and tool-specific peg hooks, the Peg-A-System lets you create a customized place for hanging your screwdrivers, long-handled tools, wrenches, pliers, and more. Additionally, a variety of hanging trays and bins make ideal containers for small parts, hardware, and hand tools.

Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles, Book 5)

Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles, Book 5)


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The fifth volume of Rice's Vampire Chronicles is one of her most controversial books. The tale begins in New York, where Lestat, the coolest of Rice's vampire heroes, is stalking a big-time cocaine dealer and religious-art smuggler--this guy should get it in the neck. Lestat is also growing fascinated with the dealer's lovely daughter, a TV evangelist who's not a fraud.

Lestat is also being stalked himself, by some shadowy guy who turns out to be Memnoch, the devil, who spirits him away. From here on, the book might have been called Interview with the Devil (by a Vampire). It's a rousing story interrupted by a long debate with the devil. Memnoch isn't the devil as ordinarily conceived: he got the boot from God because he objected to God's heartless indifference to human misery. Memnoch takes Lestat to heaven, hell, and throughout history.

Some readers are appalled by the scene in which Lestat sinks his fangs into the throat of Christ on the cross, but the scene is not a mere shock tactic: Jesus is giving Lestat a bloody taste in order to win him over to God's side, and Rice is dead serious about the battle for his soul. Rice is really doing what she did as a devout young Catholic girl asked to imagine in detail what Christ's suffering felt like--it's just that her imagination ran away with her.

If you like straight-ahead fanged adventure, you'll likely enjoy the first third; if you like Job-like arguments with God, you'll prefer the Memnoch chapters.

Rice has made a career out of humanizing creatures of supernatural horror, and in this fifth book of her Vampire Chronicles she requests sympathy for the Devil. Having survived his near-fatal reacquaintance with human mortality in The Tale of the Body Thief (1992), the world-weary vampire Lestat is recruited by the biblical Devil, Memnoch, to help fight a cruel and negligent God. The bulk of the novel is a retelling of the Creation story from the point of view of the fallen angel, who blames his damnation on his refusal to accept human suffering as part of God's divine plan. Rice grapples valiantly with weighty questions regarding the justification of God's ways to man, but their vast scope overwhelms the novel's human dimensions. God and the Devil periodically put on the flesh of mortals, and too often end up sounding like arguing philosophy majors. Meanwhile, the ever-fascinating Lestat, whose poignant personal crisis of faith is mirrored in Memnoch's travails, becomes a passive observer, dragged along on trips to Heaven and Hell before being returned to Earth to relate what he has witnessed. Though Rice boldly probes the significance of death, belief in the afterlife and other spiritual matters, one wishes that she had found a way to address them through the experiences of human and near-human characters, as she has done so brilliantly in the past.

Star Trek: The Original Series 365



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Star Trek: The Original Series 365 is the definitive, authorized guide to Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry's groundbreaking television program that first aired from 1966 through 1969 and went on to become a cultural phenomenon. A visual celebration of the original voyages of the Starship Enterprise, the book covers the entire series in unprecedented detail, combining in-depth commentary, behind-the-scenes histories, and interviews with writers, cast, and crew with synopses for each of the series' 79 episodes.

In addition to a wealth of never-before-seen images and newly commissioned photography, Star Trek 365 presents a treasure trove of remastered stills from the CBS archives, bringing to vivid life the famous five-year mission of Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, Doctor McCoy, and countless other characters for longtime and new fans alike.

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the original Star Trek series and figured you'd seen every single production still and behind-the-scenes photograph, along comes this new book from veteran Treksperts Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann and the good folks at ABRAMS Publishing. It's bursting with in-depth commentary, episode synopses, newly conducted interviews and more, with a treasure trove of remastered stills from the CBS archives making it a truly out-of-this-world addition to any bookshelf or coffee table.

The best book about Star Trek TOS since the Justman/Solow book. Really well done, with great photos (many I have never seen before). The text on each episode captures many anecdotes that I had not heard before either. And I love that the authors included some early aspects of fandom -- including the first few New York conventions. If you are a fan of the original series -- this is a "must have" book. I hope they do another one for the first six movies featuring the original cast.

The Muppets


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With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon. When 3 muppet fans learn that Tex Richman wants to drill under the muppet theater for oil Gary, Mary and Walter set out to find the muppets who have been split up for years Kermit lives in his own mansion depressed in hollywood, Gonzo is a high class plumber at Gonzo's Royal Flush, Fozzie performs with a tribute band called The Moopets , Miss Piggy is the plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, and Animal is at a celebrity anger managment rehab center in Santa Barbara.

Jason Segel ... Gary
Amy Adams ... Mary
Chris Cooper ... Tex Richman
Rashida Jones ... Veronica Martin
Steve Whitmire ... Kermit / Beaker / Statler / Rizzo / Link Hogthrob / The Newsman (voice)
Eric Jacobson ... Miss Piggy / Fozzie Bear / Animal / Sam Eagle / Marvin Suggs (voice)
Dave Goelz ... Gonzo / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Zoot / Beauregard / Waldorf / Kermit Moopet (voice)
Bill Barretta ... Swedish Chef / Rowlf / Dr. Teeth / Pepe the Prawn / Bobo / Muppet Gary (voice)
David Rudman ... Scooter / Janice / Miss Poogy / Wayne (voice)
Matt Vogel ... Sgt. Floyd Pepper / Camilla / Sweetums / 80's Robot / Lew Zealand / Uncle Deadly / Roowlf / Crazy Harry (voice)
Peter Linz ... Walter (voice)
Alan Arkin ... Tour Guide
Bill Cobbs ... Grandfather
Zach Galifianakis ... Hobo Joe
Ken Jeong ... 'Punch Teacher' Host
Jim Parsons ... Human Walter
Eddie Pepitone ... Postman
Kristen Schaal ... Moderator
Sarah Silverman ... Greeter
Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo ... TV Executive
Raymond Ma ... Elderly Asian Man
Shu Lan Tuan ... Elderly Asian Woman
Donald Glover ... Junior CDE Executive
Dahlia Waingort ... TV Executive
Jonathan Palmer ... Reporter One
Don Yanan ... Reporter Two
Michael Albala ... TV Executive
Julia Marie Franzese ... 'Punch Teacher' Kid
Gunnar Smith ... Gary Age 6
Connor Gallagher ... Gary Age 9
Justin Marco ... Gary Age 13
Cameron Kasal ... Laughing Kid
Justin Tinucci ... Laughing Kid
Alex Long ... Laughing Kid
Aria Noelle Curzon ... Waitress
Emily Blunt ... Miss Piggy's Receptionist
James Carville ... Himself
Leslie Feist ... Herself
Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself
Selena Gomez ... Herself
David Grohl ... Animool
Neil Patrick Harris ... Himself
Judd Hirsch ... Himself
John Krasinski ... Himself
Rico Rodriguez ... Himself
Mickey Rooney ... Smalltown Resident
Tyler Bunch ... Foozie the Moopet / Thog / Additional Muppet Performer
Bruce Lanoil ... Additional Muppet Performer
Michelan Sisti ... Additional Muppet Performer
Paul McGinnis ... Additional Muppet Performer
Greg Ballora ... Additional Muppet Performer
David Alan Barclay ... Additional Muppet Performer
Tim Blaney ... Additional Muppet Performer
Kevin Carlson ... Additional Muppet Performer
Leslie Carrara ... Additional Muppet Performer (as Leslie Carrara-Rudolph)
Kristin Charney ... Additional Muppet Performer
Nathan Danforth ... Additional Muppet Performer (voice)
Alice Dinnean ... Additional Muppet Performer (voice)
Julia Gunn ... Additional Muppet Performer
BJ Guyer ... Additional Muppet Performer
Tanya Haden ... Additional Muppet Performer
Patrick Johnson ... Additional Muppet Performer
Sean W. Johnson ... Additional Muppet Performer
Len Levitt ... Additional Muppet Performer
James Murray ... Additional Muppet Performer
Michael Oosterom ... Additional Muppet Performer
Karen Prell ... Additional Muppet Performer
Mike Quinn ... Additional Muppet Performer
David Skelly ... Additional Muppet Performer
Andy Stone ... Additional Muppet Performer
Art Gonzalez Vega ... Additional Muppet Performer
Alex Villa ... Additional Muppet Performer
Chase Woolner ... Additional Muppet Performer
Matthew Broadley ... Friend of Tex - age 10
Johnny Cannizzaro ... Charlie Chaplin
Troy Christian ... Principal Dancer
Dan Crane ... Fishmonger (voice)
Joanna Newsom
Charlie E. Schmidt Jr. ... Dancer
Danny Trejo ... Prisoner
Gabriel Aslan ... Baseball Player (uncredited)
Samuel Baca ... Driver (uncredited)
Cole Barba ... Carnival Teen (uncredited)
Greg Ber ... Stage Manager Voice (uncredited)
Jack Black ... Himself (uncredited)
Ross Blakeman ... French Waiter (uncredited)
David Buehrle ... Gary - age 16 (uncredited)
Kelly Connolly ... Dancer (uncredited)
Osa Danam ... Casino Gambler (uncredited)
Mike DeMille ... Urgent Man (uncredited)
Nick Drago ... Groom / Construction worker (uncredited)
Zuri Goldman ... Dancer / Paparazzi (uncredited)
Jane Graves ... French Vogue Assistant (uncredited)
Justin Hall ... Baseball Player (uncredited)
Reese C. Hartwig ... Punch Teacher Contestant (uncredited)
Jim Henson ... Kermit (archive footage) (uncredited)
Kenneth Hughes ... Homeless Man / Dancer (uncredited)
Valerie Humbard ... Telethon Audience Member (uncredited)
Bob Kaye ... Telethon Attendee (uncredited)
Linda Lay ... Journalist (uncredited)
Marca Leigh ... Dancer / Waitress (uncredited)
Angelina McCoy ... Tex's Showgirl (uncredited)
Cameron McIntyre ... Cub Scout (uncredited)
Chris Moss ... Dancer (uncredited)
Jerry Nelson ... Telethon Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Erin Pickett ... Lady in Black Lace Camisole (uncredited)
Britt Sanborn ... Gary and Walter's Mom (uncredited)
Chris Spinelli ... Diner Patron (uncredited)
Victoria Strauss ... Student (uncredited)
Marco Tazioli ... Guy on Pier (uncredited)
Corey Webber ... Warehouse Worker (uncredited)

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide



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You could beat a dragon's skull in with this guide.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Collectors Edition: Prima Official Game Guide is the closest thing to perfection one might imagine. Meticulously detailed maps, thorough, well-written quest guides both comprehensive and clear and every item, vendor and trainer location in the game have been sewn in to this masterfully rendered tome.

The details of what comes with this guide are on the page, so an in-depth analysis would be both tedious and unnecessary.

I have owned the guides for most of my RPGs including Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as well as Mass Effect, Mass Effect II, Fable II and Fable III.

This guide trumps them all.

This guide took 2000 hours for Prima to complete, and it shows. If you want the most out of this game, if you want explore every nook and cranny, this guide is the perfect companion. I would have gladly paid more if I knew what I was getting.

For those of you who might be worried, this hard-cover guide is made to last. A Harry Potter book probably isn't as tough-looking as this.

My only complaint, and this is an infinitesimally small one, is that the physical map that comes with the guide is connected to the guide itself (which is typical of almost every guide I have ever owned) and must be torn out. This very often (at least for yours truly) results in the edges of the map being torn in the attempt to take it out. However, Prima makes up for this issue raises the bar of game guides by including a code to an online interactive map which may be accessed from any computer.

SHORT VERSION:

Fantastic guide. If you want a guide, get it. It's worth every penny.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Vampire Chronicles Collection, Volume 1



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The ornate, casket-like packaging and neogothic graphic design of this immortal trilogy is eerily enticing on its own. But just lift the lid, slide the first tape from its ghostly sleeve, and you'll soon embrace the hypnotic realm of the undead.

Book 1, Interview with the Vampire, opens with the seductive purr of F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) stating, "I was a 25-year-old man when I became a vampire, and the year was 1791." And so our ultimate antihero, Louis, begins the elaborate retelling of his long, tortured life as a vampire. Winding through the ages, from New Orleans to Paris, we follow Louis and his undying mentor, Lestat, as they feed on humans, whet their carnal appetites, and uncover an underworld of vampire brethren.

Book 2, The Vampire Lestat, brings us up to date, with Lestat waking from his earthen slumber to join the ranks of rock superstardom before sitting down to share the tale of his own haunting initiation into the vampire world. Michael York (Cabaret) puts his wonderfully fluid, cosmopolitan voice to good use, adding a dash of sly humor to this fast-paced, satisfying blend of sex and blood and rock and roll.

Book 3, The Queen of the Damned, takes us back, all the way back to ancient Egypt, exposing the origins of the vampire way. Narrating in eerily serene and gracious tones, Kate Nelligan (The Prince of Tides) leads us gently down this bloody path of immortal desires. David Purdham gives the voice of Lestat a wistful quality, tinged with an evil relish that exposes the master vampire's sanguine tastes.

Anne Rice has continued her Vampire Chronicles beyond these three novels, but that shouldn't make this collection any less tempting to either the undead initiate or certified vampire junkie.

The hypnotic, deeply seductive novels of Anne Rice have captivated millions of fans around the world. It all began a quarter of a century ago with Interview with the Vampire. Now, in one chilling volume, here are the first three classic novels of The Vampire Chronicles.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
Witness the confessions of a vampire. A novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force, it is a story of danger and flight, love and loss, suspense and resolution, and the extraordinary power of the senses.

“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Anne Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth–the education of the vampire.”
–Chicago Tribune

THE VAMPIRE LESTAT
Once an aristocrat from pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the decadent 1980s, Lestat rushes through the centuries seeking to fathom the mystery of his existence. His is a mesmerizing story–passionate and thrilling.

“Frightening, sensual . . . A psychological, mythological sojourn . . . Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature. . . . To read her is to become giddy as if spinning through the mind of time.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
Akasha, the queen of the damned, has risen from a six-thousand-year sleep to let loose the powers of the night. She has a marvelously devious plan to “save” mankind–in this vivid novel of the erotic, electrifying world of the undead.

“With The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice has created universes within universes, traveling back in time as far as ancient, pre-pyramidic Egypt and journeying from the frozen mountain peaks of Nepal to the crowded, sweating streets of southern Florida.”
–Los Angeles Times

Gears of War 3 Limited Edition Strategy Guide



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BradyGames’ Gears of War 3 Limited Edition includes the following:

THE FINAL CHAPTER

This Limited Edition guide to Gears of War 3 is a must-have for every fan. Each page is filled with proven strategies and highlighted with stunning artwork, making it a true collector’s piece. Topped off with some cool extras, this guide is the true companion to the game.

FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOADS! Get FREE, DOWNLOADABLE PDFs of the original Gears of War and Gears of War 2 Official Strategy Guides! Just enter the codes printed in this book at www.bradygames.com.
SOUNDTRACK SAMPLER! Enjoy a VARIETY OF TRACKS from the official Gears of War 3 soundtrack. Each track will help you relive countless confrontations from your Campaign experience.
EXCLUSIVE GEARS COMIC BOOK CONTENT! Get a first-hand look at the next installment of the Gears of War comic book series. This preview contains 12 pages from the upcoming comic!
FREE XBL MARKETPLACE STRATEGY VIDEO! Download a FREE STRATEGY VIDEO from XBOX Live Marketplace! Redeem the code found in this book and learn how to find all the hidden collectibles in Act I, courtesy of the BradyGames Strategy Feed.

Strategy Guide Includes:

Exhaustive Campaign Coverage- Provides complete coverage of every area and encounter from start to finish. Plus, Four-Player Co-Op strategy included!
Every Collectible- Find the location of every COG Tag and collectible in the game— they’re all revealed!
Comprehensive Maps- Our detailed Multiplayer and Single-Player maps depict every area in the game. We pinpoint mission objectives, weapons and ammo, collectible locations, and more!
Expanded Multiplayer Content- Fight to the best of your abilities with MP-specific weapon stats, pickup locations, enemy spawn points, and gametested techniques for every game mode. Tactics for teambased and solo play, too! Get the most out of the new Beast, SP Arcade, and enhanced Horde modes!
And Don’t Forget... Achievement listing reveals how to reach 100% completion. Indispensible weapon and enemy data and much more!

The Goonies 25th Anniversary Edition



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From the imagination of Steven Spielberg, The Goonies plunges a band of small heroes into a swashbuckling surprise-around-every corner quest beyond their wildest dreams! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of a family of bumbling bad guys…and a mild mannered monster with a face only a mother could love.

You may be surprised to discover that the director of the Lethal Weapon movies and scary horror flick The Omen, Richard Donner, also produced and directed this classic children's adventure (which, by the way, was written by Donner's screen-wizard friend Steven Spielberg). Then again you may not. The Goonies, like Donner's other movies, is the same story of good versus evil. It has its share of bad guys (the Fratelli brothers and their villainous mother), reluctant-hero good guys (the Walsh bothers and their gang of friends), and lots of corny one-liners. Like in an old-fashioned Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew plot, the Goonies need to solve a problem: a corrupt corporate developer has bought out their neighborhood and plans to flatten all their homes. Luckily, the beloved gang stumbles on a treasure map. In the hopes of finding the treasure to buy back their houses, the Goonies embark on their quest through underground passages, aboard pirate ships, and behind waterfalls. This swashbuckling and rollicking ride was also a great breeding ground for a couple of child actors who went on to enjoy numerous successes in adulthood: Sean Astin (Rudy, Encino Man) and Martha Plimpton (Pecker, 200 Cigarettes).

Grill Daddy Pro Grill Brush

Grill Daddy Pro Grill Brush is a revolutionary grill-cleaning tool that sterilizes as it cleans to keep food tasting great. Just turn on the grill, fill the Grill Daddy with water, and begin cleaning. Steams away baked-on food, grease, and black residue. It's fun and easy to use, eliminating hard scraping and dangerous chemicals with steam-cleaning and stainless steel bristles. Works on all grills, including stainless steel, iron, and porcelain enamel. Made from NSF-approved materials.

Grill Daddy Pro Grill Brush uses the power of steam to clean tough baked-on food and grease Stainless-steel bristles; safe for cast-iron, steel, or porcelain grill grates Long, sturdy handle protects hands from heat; hanging storage hook 2-sided head removes for easy cleaning Measures approximately 22 by 4 by 6 inches The ultimate grilling companion, this hardworking brush uses the power of steam to tackle even the toughest grease and residue buildup. Featuring strong stainless-steel bristles, the unit works aggressively on messes, while protecting cast-iron, steel, and porcelain grill grates from scratching and damage. Simple to use, just fill the handle with tap water and turn the grill on low before scraping. The heat from the grill warms the water, creating steam that effectively loosens crusted foods and returns the grill grates to their original shine. Best of all, the unit's long handle protects hands from burns and splatters, and its two-sided removable dishwasher-safe head cleans easily and offers both wide and fine bristles, efficiently polishing between even the smallest of spaces. Use the storage hook for hanging the tool when not in use. The grill brush measures approximately 22 by 4 by 6 inches.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Star Trek Vault: 40 Years from the Archives



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Star Trek Vault charts the remarkable history of the world's most popular science fiction series, examining the franchise's first 40 years. Covering all six Star Trek television series and the ten original feature films, the book highlights the far-reaching social and scientific optimism that underpins the franchise, dwelling on milestones such as its groundbreaking mixed-race casts and technologies that have since become commonplace, before taking an in-depth look at the making of each series and movie. Fully illustrated with more than 350 images, and including 13 interactive reproductions of the most fascinating memorabilia from the CBS archives--on-set signage, hand-drawn storyboards, blueprints for Picard's captain's chair, and a vintage T-shirt transfer--Star Trek Vault provides a broad perspective on the voyages of Captains Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer. The ultimate treasure trove of Star Trek imagery and memorabilia, Star Trek Vault is sure to appeal to both the casual and the die-hard fan.

The Neverending Story

When young Bastian borrows a mysterious, ornately-bound book, he never dreamed turning a page would draw him into a shimmering fantasy world of racing snails, hang-glider bats, soaring luckdragons, puckish elves, a Childlike Empress, the brave warrior Atreyu and a slab-faced walking quarry called a Rock Biter.


Get The Neverending Story at Amazon.com

Wolfgang Petersen (In the Line of Fire) made his first English-language film with this 1984 fantasy about a boy (Barret Oliver) visualizing the stories of a book he's reading. The imagined tale involves another boy, a warrior (Noah Hathaway), and his efforts to save the empire of Fantasia from a nemesis called the Nothing. Whether or not the scenario sticks in the memory, what does linger are the unique effects, which are not quite like anything else. Plenty of good fairy-tale characters and memorable scenes, and the film even encourages kids to read.

In 1994, Wolfgang Petersen directed the film adaptation of the German novel "Die Unendliche Geschichte", which was written by Michael Ende (1929-1995). The film/novel is better known in the U.S. with its English title of "The Neverending Story". It was also the first film that Wolfgang Petersen filmed in English. The story begins with a troubled boy named Bastian (Barret Oliver), who is being raised by his father (Gerald McRaney). An avid reader with an active imagination, Bastian walks into a used bookstore owned by Mr. Koreander (Thomas Hill) and finds a mysterious book that captures his curiosity. Mr. Koreander seemingly doesn't want to sell the book to him, but Bastian manages to run from the store with book in hand. Bastian takes the book to school with him, where he is tormented by three bullies (Drum Garrett, Darryl Cooksey & Nicholas Gilbert). To avoid the bullies, Bastian finds refuge in a rarely-used attic within the school and begins to read from the book about a magical land called Fantasia. Fantasia is a wonderful place with many unusual characters and is ruled by the Childlike Princess (Tami Stronach), but something terrible is happening to Fantasia as parts of it are disappearing by an unknown force referred to only as "the nothing". The Childlike Princess calls upon the strongest warrior to find a human child to stop "the nothing". The warrior, a boy named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) of a tribe similar to Native Americans, takes the protective signet that the Childlike Princess gives to him and sets off to find a human child, which can only be found beyond the bounds of Fantasia. To his astonishment, as Bastian reads the book and the many adventures, challenges and dangers and Atreyu faces, Bastian slowly begins to realize whom Atreyu and the Childlike Princess are actually seeking.

With imaginative characters, good cinematography & special effects and an endearing & well-written story, "The Neverending Story" is a wonderful and engaging film that not only captures Bastian's imagination in the story, but the audience's imagination as well. Other memorable characters in the film include Teeny Weeny (Deep Roy), Night Hob (Tilo Prückner), Cairon (Moses Gunn), Engywook (Sydney Bromley), Urgl (Patricia Hayes), Falkor (voice of Alan Oppenheimer), Rock Biter, the Racing Snail and the Bat. Overall, I rate "The Neverending Story" with 5 out of 5 stars and very highly recommend it to both young & old alike. It's a wonderful film that can be watched time and again without becoming tiresome. Sadly, the film's two sequels (produced in 1990 & 1994) were far less memorable. Other films directed by Wolfgang Petersen include "Das Boot" (1981), "Enemy Mine" (1985), "The Perfect Storm" (2000) and "Troy" (2004).

Dark Souls The Official Guide

Dark Souls The Official Guide



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PREPARE TO DIE LESS
Going into Dark Souls unaided will get you killed. A lot. Even armed with the complete knowledge of the game that this guide will provide, you're still certain to die at least a few times. But when a gigantic demon takes you by surprise you'll at least have a chance to not lose everything. This is a true survival guide for a game that's almost impossible to survive.

Area Guide Walkthrough
The Walkthrough makes use of detailed maps to guide you in exploring every inch of the game's huge world. Learn the most useful shortcuts and find all of the hidden areas.

Enemy Encyclopedia
Everything you need to know to tackle the game's army of lethal foes is contained in one easy-to-use reference chapter. Tactics, data and attack details for all enemies will prove an invaluable resource.

Weapons & Equipment
Weapons, Armor and Magic are all covered in exhaustive detail. Full stats, locations, upgrade paths and usage strategies are provided so you can easily compare all of the options when choosing your equipment.

All Items
The complete item lists reveal every last consumable, accessory, upgrading material and offensive item. Quickly discover where to find each one and how to make the most of them.

Everything Uncovered
Discover how to unlock every Achievement or Trophy and learn the secrets of Dark Souls' unique online multiplayer mode.

How many times did we die before you could actually hold this guide in your hands? 100 times? 1000 times? Who the hell knows. Chances are we died more times in this game than in all other games of 2011 put together. And for what? For the sole purpose of offering you guidance. We died so that you don't have to. But you're still going to die.

If ever a game needed a great guide, it's Dark Souls. It's rare for a modern game to be designed so meticulously to enrage and engulf its players in a world that doesn't offer even the most basic assistance. Its enemies are relentless and its areas labyrinthine. Just providing players with area maps is enough to make slowly inching around each corner a little easier to bear.

We've done a whole lot more than that, however. We've extracted every last metaphysical ounce of data we could and tracked every last NPC down no matter how many times they might try and slip away. So when you're up to your knees in lava in Lost Izalith being chased by a giant dinosaur that can kill you with a single touch because your armor is rapidly crumbling away, at least you'll know that the treasure you're trying so desperately to reach is going to be worthwhile. We believe that this guide will give you all the information you need to plan your journey through Dark Souls, cut down its most lethal bosses, see its many hidden areas and events, and maybe even not die a thousand times in the process. If nothing else, it might give you hope.

Thus opens the Future Press guide to Dark Souls. A guide that is honest about the game it's designed to cover. Plenty of games are either too easy, tell you everything you need to know or just plain give you the answers. Dark Souls isn't one of those games. It more or less lets you go at some point, making you learn everything on your own. In an era where online walkthroughs are everywhere strategy guides are mostly collector's items. Dark Souls, however, is a game where having a guide feels more beneficial than not. And it's actually a good guide by being more than just heavy handed set of instructions. There's a ton of info here that those who play Dark Souls will appreciate. This is an in depth guide that doesn't just go over the basics, but serves as an encyclopedia for the game. And it manages to be done in such a way it doesn't ruin the experience of the game if you don't want it to.

The guide opens up with the basis of the game system. It's a pretty in depth chapter that might be far more beneficial than it appears on the outset given how unusually thin the manual to the game itself is. It explains all the stats of the job classes at the start as well as showing all the equipment they begin with. Each stat is also explained in depth with the guide giving tips on just how to utilize and build them based on the class you may have chosen at the start. The guide makes no bones about the challenge the game can provide and does it's best to offer a good explanation of the strength and weakness of each class. It also jumps into the inventory and just what everything means. If you're looking for a good way to understand the complex systems of Dark Souls, this is a good place start.

It is the combat chapter that some may find rewarding. Much like the Game System Chapter it's a lot more indepth than just a set of instructions. While it only looks at some of the basics here, the goal is to get you acquainted with the combat mechanics of the game. There are more tips here including talking about status ailments and how to overcome them. It's actually a lot more in depth than it sounds. Anyone new to Dark Souls would probably do best to start within this chapter because this is where you'll learn the most about the combat you'll experience. You won't be lost without it, but seeing as how the game itself isn't going to explain everything to you, you might as well take a peak to understand what those symbols and such mean that you see on the screen from time to time. There's also a lot of explanation about the online interface.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Songs of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy Season 1-4

Songs of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy Season 1-4



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Songs of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy Seasons 1-4 , features a collection of fifteen new recordings, specifically for the show, of classic tunes such as "What A Wonderful World", "Forever Young" and "John The Revelator". The collection kicks off with the Emmy nominated and ASCAP award winning series theme song "This Life" written by singer-songwriter Curtis Stigers, Velvet Revolver guitarist Dave Kushner, producer Bob Thiele and show creator Kurt Sutter, performed by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers. Golden Globe® Award winning actress/singer Katey Sagal performs four tracks on the soundtrack including a standout performance of "Son Of A Preacher Man" with The Forest Rangers. Other notable tracks include "Someday Never Comes", "Hey Hey, My My" and the never before heard stunning recording of "House of the Rising Sun" which features Battleme & The Forest Rangers with Katey Sagal.

1. This Life Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers
2. Son Of A Preacher Man Katey Sagal & The Forest Rangers
3. Forever Young Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
4. John The Revelator Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers
5. Fortunate Son Lyle Workman & Bob Thiele
6. Slip Kid Anvil featuring Franky Perez
7. Girl From The North Country The Lions
8. Someday Never Comes Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers
9. Gimme Shelter Paul Brady & The Forest Rangers
10. Bird On A Wire Katey Sagal & The Forest Rangers
11.Hey Hey, My My Battleme
12. What A Wonderful World Alison Mosshart & The Forest Rangers
13. Los Tiempos Van Cambiando (The Times They Are A-Changin ) Franky Perez & Los Guardianes del Bosque
14. Strange Fruit Katey Sagal & The Forest Rangers featuring Blake Mills
15. House Of The Rising Sun Battleme & The Forest Rangers with Katey Sagal

The Tale of the Body Thief: The Vampire Chronicles


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It's been said that Vladimir Nabokov's best novels are the ones he wrote after starting a failed novel. Anne Rice wrote The Body Thief, the fourth thrilling episode of her Vampire Chronicles, right after she spent a long time poring over that most romantic of horror novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to research a novel Rice abandoned about an artificial man. Perhaps as a result of Shelley's influence, The Body Thief is far more psychologically penetrating than its predecessors, with a laser-like focus on a single tormented soul. Oh, we meet some wild new characters, and Rice's toothsome vampire-hero Lestat zooms around the globe--as is his magical habit--from Miami to the Gobi desert, but he's in such despair that he trades his immortal body to a con man named Raglan James, who offers him in return two days of strictly mortal bliss.

Lestat has always had a faulty impulse-control valve, and it gets him in truly intriguing trouble this time. On the plus side, he gets to experience romance with a nun and orange juice--"thick like blood, but full of sweetness." But Lestat is horrified by an uncommon cold, and his toilet training proves traumatic. He's also got to catch Raglan James, who has no intention of giving up his dishonestly acquired new superpowered body. Lestat enlists the help of David Talbot, a mortal in the Talamasca, a secret society of immortal watchers described in Queen of the Damned.

The swapping of bodies and supernatural stories is choice, and there's even a moral: never give a bloodsucker an even break.
The fourth book of the Vampire Chronicles series, launched in 1976 with Interview with the Vampire (which Knopf is simultaneously reissuing in cloth), reconfirms Rice's power as a mesmerizing raconteur. In sensuous, fluid prose, she follows the tormented vampire Lestat as he struggles to integrate his bloodthirsty nature with his aspirations to achieve humanity. Desiring to see the sun, to love without taking blood, to seek God as mortals do, Lestat enters blindly into an unholy bargain. In order to experience mortality for one day and two nights, he agrees to switch bodies with the scoundrel Raglan James, a former member of the secret order of scholarly occultists called the Talamasca, and a "sinister being," according to David Talbot, the order's superior general and Lestat's longtime friend and advisor. But Lestat has given little thought to how James intends to use his body and its vampiric powers. Trapped in the mortal state, Lestat must overcome the human frailties of despair and physical pain to thwart James's evil intentions and, with Talbot's help, regain his immortal self. Drawing on characters met in earlier novels as well as the lushly evoked settings of New Orleans, Miami and Paris, Rice once again deftly lures readers into the enchanting world of her anguished and deeply sympathetic hero.

The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary Edition)



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When it was released during Hollywood's golden year of 1939, The Wizard of Oz didn't start out as the perennial classic it has since become. The film did respectable business, but it wasn't until its debut on television that this family favorite saw its popularity soar. And while Oz's TV broadcasts are now controlled by media mogul Ted Turner (who owns the rights), the advent of home video has made this lively musical a mainstay in the staple diet of great American films. Young Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), her dog, Toto, and her three companions on the yellow brick road to Oz--the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)--have become pop-culture icons and central figures in the legacy of fantasy for children. As the Wicked Witch who covets Dorothy's enchanted ruby slippers, Margaret Hamilton has had the singular honor of scaring the wits out of children for more than six decades. The film's still as fresh, frightening, and funny as it was when first released. It may take some liberal detours from the original story by L. Frank Baum, but it's loyal to the Baum legacy while charting its own course as a spectacular film. Shot in glorious Technicolor, befitting its dynamic production design (Munchkinland alone is a psychedelic explosion of color and decor), The Wizard of Oz may not appeal to every taste as the years go by, but it's required viewing for kids of all ages.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Edition)

Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Edition)


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David O. Selznick wanted Gone with the Wind to be somehow more than a movie, a film that would broaden the very idea of what a film could be and do and look like. In many respects he got what he worked so hard to achieve in this 1939 epic (and all-time box-office champ in terms of tickets sold), and in some respects he fell far short of the goal. While the first half of this Civil War drama is taut and suspenseful and nostalgic, the second is ramshackle and arbitrary. But there's no question that the film is an enormous achievement in terms of its every resource--art direction, color, sound, cinematography--being pushed to new limits for the greater glory of telling an American story as fully as possible. Vivien Leigh is still magnificently narcissistic, Olivia de Havilland angelic and lovely, Leslie Howard reckless and aristocratic. As for Clark Gable: we're talking one of the most vital, masculine performances ever committed to film.
It seems like a 'new, improved' edition of "Gone With the Wind" has appeared every couple of years, offering the 'ultimate' in picture and sound reproduction, and extras. It can become expensive keeping up, and frustrating (much like buying a classic Disney DVD, when you know a more complete "Special Edition" will soon render your "First Time on Video" copy obsolete), but the new GWTW Four-Disc Collector's Edition most assuredly deserves a place in your collection.

First off, the picture and sound quality is astonishing. Warner's Ultra-Resolution process, which 'locks' the three Technicolor strips into exact alignment, provides a clarity and 'crispness' to the images that even the 1939 original print couldn't achieve. You'll honestly believe your TV is picking up HD, whether you're HD-ready, or not! This carries over to the Dolby Digital-remastered sound, as well. All of the tell-tale hiss and scratchiness of the opening credit title music, still discernable in the last upgrade, is gone, replaced by a richness of tone that will give your home theater a good workout. (Listen to the brass in this sequence, and you'll notice what I'm talking about...)

The biggest selling point of this edition is, of course, the two discs of additional features offered, and these are, in general, superb. Beginning with the excellent "Making of a Legend" (narrated by Christopher Plummer), Disc Three offers fascinating overviews about the film, the amazing restoration, footage from the 1939 Premiere (and the bittersweet 1961 Civil War Centennial reunion of Selznick, Leigh, and de Havilland), glimpses of Gable and Leigh with dubbed voices for the foreign-language versions, the international Prologue (tacked on to explain the Civil War to foreign audiences), and a 1940 MGM documentary on the "Old South" (directed by Fred Zinneman) memorable today for it's simplistic view of the time, and stereotypical portrayal of blacks.

Disc Four is a mixed bag; the long-awaited reminiscences of Olivia de Havilland are more chatty than informative (with the 90-year-old actress more interested in discussing her wardrobe than on-set tension...although a prank she pulled on Gable is amusing), and the Clark Gable Profile is superficial (A&E's biography of 'The King' is far superior). Things improve, however, with the insightful, sympathetic TCM biography of Vivien Leigh (hosted by Jessica Lange), and a WONDERFUL section devoted to brief bios of many of the GWTW supporting cast, narrated, again, by Christopher Plummer (although I wish the filmmakers would have included bios for Ward Bond, Victor Jory, Fred Crane, and George 'Superman' Reeves).

All in all, the GWTW Four-Disc Collector's Edition isn't perfect, but offers so much terrific material that it is CERTAINLY the one to own!

The Star Trek Encyclopedia

The Star Trek Encyclopedia


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From 'audet IX to Zytchin III, this book covers it all. This is the ultimate reference book for all Star Trek fans!

Added to this edition are 128 new pages. This addendum highlights the latest episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek: Voyager® and the newest feature film, Star Trek: Insurrection™.

The thousands of photos and hundreds of illustrations place the Star Trek universe at your fingertips. Planets and stars, weapons and ships, people and places are just part of the meticulous research and countless cross-reference that fill this book.

This new version of the Star Trek Encyclopedia is a reissue of the 1997 edition, plus a 128-page supplement of additional material that updates Deep Space Nine to the end of its run and Voyager to midway through season five. It also covers the movie Star Trek: Insurrection. The supplement is as meticulously detailed as the rest of the volume, listing such fascinating trivia as chadre kab (Seven of Nine's first meal), 'Kahless and Lukara' (a Klingon opera), and voraxna (a Cardassian poison), as well as all the new characters and species. Appendices include illustrations of starships, cast and crew listings, a historical timeline, and a bibliography. All photographs and illustrations (except for a few historical shots) are in color. The encyclopedia was devised in part to help production staff on the various Star Trek TV series to keep up with the ever-increasing level of detail generated by over 30 years of creative effort. It is an excellent reference volume and, whether you want to settle an argument or write a novel, this book will answer your questions. But beware: the extensive cross-referencing leads to curious time-distortion effects, in which the unwary reader, dipping in to settle a single query, encounters an irresistible urge to browse further, during which hours of normal time can pass in the wink of an eye.

I can't imagine being a die-had Trekker without this book: the ultimate reference to people, places, things, events in the entire Star Trek universe from the original series of 1966 through all the movies and series right up to Voyager. This updated edition is not quite as smoothly integrated as previous updates--the last couple season's worth of shows and Star Trek: Insurrection are all treated in a separate (but extensive) section at the back, but a decent cross-referencing system lessens the inconvenience. I find it the ultimate can't put-down book-start to look up a subject of interest and you'll find yourself drawn from entry to entry until you've forgotten exactly what it was you were looking for but find yourself seized with the intense desire to rewatch several episodes. Unless you're the most serious Trek fan, you probably don't need the updated edition if you have an earlier one...but for those who do, it's a wonderful guide.